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Our Policies

Here you'll find information about our policies and procedures.

Our Policies and Procedures

Privacy Policy

AS TO THE PROCESSING OF PERSONAL DATA IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE


General Data Protection Regulation


(“GDPR”) 2018


Comptons Solicitors LLP (“We”) are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. This policy (together with our terms and conditions, client care information, and any other documents referred to in them or provided to you from time to time) sets out the basis on which any personal data we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by us.

Please read the following carefully to understand our views and practices regarding your personal data and how we will treat it.

For the purpose of the Data Protection Act 1998 (the Act), the data controller is Comptons Solicitors LLP of 90/92 Parkway Regents Park London NW1 7AN.


Our nominated Data Protection Officer for the purpose of the Act is Nicholas Goldreich.


Information about you

We are obliged by the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 (MLR 2017) which came into force on 26thJune 2017 to obtain and hold documents  which will contain your personal data in relation to which the GDPR 2018 will apply.

We will collect and process personal data about you in relation to property transactions including mortgages due to the requirements of that Lender or otherwise to carry out your instructions to us generally. Such data will include taking copies and electronically storing photographic identification (such as passport or drivers licence, bank statements and utility bills) as provided by you   If you do not supply us with the personal data we have requested then we cannot proceed with your instructions given the breach of our statutory requirements.   Therefore we do not require your consent to process your data in the above circumstances given we have a legitimate interest under GDPR.  In the unlikely event we are required to process your data outside the remit of the above then we will seek your specific consent to do so.  In such an event you have the right to withdraw such consent.


Information you give us

This is information about you that you give us at any time throughout your matter including (without limitation) any information given in forms or contained in any documents, at a meeting, or by corresponding with us by phone, e-mail or otherwise. The information you give us may include your name, address, e-mail address and phone number, employment information, financial and credit card information, passport, driving licence, bank statements, utility bills, personal description and photograph. This will also include images captured by our office’s CCTV and any recorded phone conversations. You consent that we may contact you by phone (including mobile); email and post.


Information we collect about you and Information we receive from other sources

This is information we may receive about you by virtue of our instruction in your matter and our representation of you. This will include (without limitation) information provided by any third party including other solicitors, barristers opponents, lenders, brokers, agents, experts, other advisors and any information of public record; professional indemnity insurers and brokers, auditors, the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Law Society other professional advisors; Courts, Land Registry, Companies House and other such public bodies (details of which to be disclosed at the commencement of a transaction/as and when the need arises). Identification, fraud prevention and anti-money laundering checks.


Information you give to us and Information we collect about you and Information we receive

We will use this information required for the purpose for which we are instructed; to carry out our obligations arising from any contracts entered into between you and us and to provide you with the information and services that you request from us; to provide you with information about other services we offer that are similar to those that you have already received or enquired about; and to notify you about changes to our service.


We will only disclose your personal information to third parties

if we are under a duty to disclose or share your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligation, or where required by statute or otherwise in relation to your matter. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organisations for the purposes of fraud and money laundering protection and instructing or liaising with other professional advisors such as barristers, surveyors or accountants.


We will NOT under any circumstances share your data for marketing purposes or profit but only as required to best deal with your work.


Where we store your personal data

We will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this privacy policy. All information is stored on our secure servers, in paper files in our office or in a secure storage facility once your matter has come to an end.  We will take appropriate technical and organisational measures to keep your information confidential and secure in accordance with our internal procedures covering the storage, access and disclosure of information. Information may be kept on our information technology systems or in paper files.  Unfortunately, the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of it but we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.  The Law Society Rules require us to store papers for 6 years or in some circumstances depending on the matter 12 years. When this period has expired we will destroy your paper and data files.


Access to information

The Data Protection Act gives you the right to access information held about you. Your right of access can be exercised in accordance with the Act. Any access request will be subject to a fee of £10 to meet our costs in providing you with details of the information we hold about you.


Right to lodge a complaint

If you are not satisfied with the service we provide with regard to the protection of your Data you are entitled to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office Helpline: 0303 123 1113.


Changes to our privacy policy

Any changes we make to our privacy policy in the future will be posted on this page and, where appropriate, notified to you by e-mail. Please check back frequently to see any updates or changes to our privacy policy.

Clients Account Interest Rate and Financial Compensation Policy

Clients Account Interest Rate and Financial Compensation Policy

(2.1)  2023

 

Key points:

 

  • This Policy seeks to pay interest to Clients where it is fair and reasonable to do so.

 

  • Interest will only be paid to on cleared funds and where interest exceeds £75.

 

  • Interest will be paid at 50% of the interest rate paid by Handelsbanken PLC on our Clients Current Account.

  

  • If the bank in which we hold funds fails compensation of up to £85,000 can be claimed.

 

  • If you believe interest paid to you is insufficient you can have the matter reviewed by our Complaints Partner.

 

  • Please be aware that if you are paid interest under this policy then it is likely to be subjected to income tax. You should therefore take tax advice in this respect.

 

  1. Background and reason for Policy

 

The Solicitors Accounts Rules 2019 and the SRA Standards and Regulations 2019 require our Firm to have a Policy that is fair and reasonable for both the Client and the Firm in respect of interest that is payable on Clients’ funds held by the Firm. The Solicitors Act 1974 permits Solicitors Firms to retain any interest earned on funds held in Clients’ account over and above that which is required to be paid in accordance with the Solicitors Accounts Rules. Where money is held in Clients’ account interest must be accounted to the Client when it is fair and reasonable to do so in all the circumstances. Solicitors’ firms must have a written Policy on the payment of interest and this Policy is the current Policy of Comptons Solicitor LLP. By signing our Terms and Conditions you are deemed to have accepted our Clients Account Interest and Financial Compensation Policy.

 

  1. The Terms of the Policy

 

Our Bank

 

When we receive funds on behalf of a Client it will be paid into a general Clients’ account that we hold with Handelsbanken PLC. This general Clients’ Bank Account will hold all Clients’ account funds held by the Firm on behalf of its Clients. These funds are held on the basis that they are instantly accessible in order to facilitate a transaction or payment for a Client or in respect of a Client matter. Clients are unlikely to receive as much interest as they might have obtained had they held and invested the money themselves.

 

Cleared Funds

 

Interest will only be paid on cleared funds and is not at any time payable on uncleared funds.

 

Rate of Interest Applicable

 

The rate of interest paid to Clients on money held in the general Clients’ account will be 50% of the interest rate paid to us by Handelsbanken PLC

 

Where Interest is not Payable by Comptons Solicitors LLP to Clients:-

 

We will not account to a Client for any interest in the following situations:-

 

  1. If the amount of interest calculated is £75 or less
  2. Funds are held for the payment of professional disbursement if the person to whom the money is owed has requested a delay in settlement.
  3. An advance from us into our general Clients’ account to fund the payment on your behalf in excess of funds already held for you in that account.
  4. If there is a specific agreement to Contract out the provisions of this interest Policy.
  5. Funds held in our Clients’ Account jointly with or for third parties in relation to your matter (such as deposit funds held as stakeholder) unless under a Contract with the third party you are entitled to such interest.
  6. Funds held as a service charge or other retention pursuant to an undertaking given by us to a third party
  7. Any funds held for less than Five (5) working days

 

When Interest is Paid

 

Save as mentioned above if we hold funds for you in our general Clients’ account then we will account to you for a sum in lieu of interest. We will only account to you if the total interest on the funds that we have held intermittently on your behalf in our general Clients’ account exceeds £75. The Firm takes the view that any amount below £75 is reasonably retained by the Firm to cover the administrative costs of dealing with Client funds. Interest is paid by Handelsbanken PLC to the Firm on the aggregate of all Client money held in our general Client account and, subject to any interest paid to Clients as above, is for the benefit of the Firm and levels of interest received are taken into account when setting our charging rates.

 

This Policy

 

A copy of this Policy will be displayed in the Legal Section on our website and clients should be referred to the website for further information.

 

  1. Financial Services Compensation Scheme

 

If a Bank in which the Firm holds funds should fail we reserve the right to disclose to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) the names and other details of Clients whose funds are held there in order for those Clients to claim compensation up to the applicable limit, currently £85,000. The Firm will not be liable for any excess over the current FSCS limit. We will not be liable to you or any Third Party for any loss or damage suffered as a result of any act, omission, fraud, delay, negligence, insolvency or default of any Bank, Financial Institution, clearing or payment system nor that of the Directors, Offices, Employees, Agents or representatives of any of the foregoing. Currently all Clients’ account funds for Comptons Solicitors LLP are held with Handelsbanken PLC.

 

 

  1. If you wish to make a Complaint about Interest

 

If you believe that interest is due and has not been paid, or that the amount of interest paid to you is insufficient then you should ask for the matter to be reviewed by the Complaints Partner, Stephen Compton whose details are sc@comptons.co.uk, 90-92 Parkway, London NW1 7AN Tel : 0207 485 0888. If you are unable to resolve your complaint about interest then you may complain to the Legal Ombudsman whose details can be given upon request.

This Policy is reviewed annually by James Compton (Partner) and Robert McDonald (Finance Manager)

Complaints Policy

We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.


None of us likes to be the subject of a complaint, but if the firm is truly committed to providing a quality service to clients all personnel need to pick up on client dissatisfaction when it does arise and address it as best they can. The firm therefore operates a complaints handling process that seeks to ensure that it:

  • knows about client dissatisfaction when if and when it does arise;
  • takes all reasonable steps to ensure that the dissatisfaction is addressed and resolved wherever possible;
  • reassures all clients who do complain that the firm will address their concerns without delay and that it takes all complaints seriously;
  • learns from experience to lessen the risk of complaints in the future.


A complaint is any expression of client dissatisfaction however it is expressed. Any expression of client dissatisfaction which the fee earner is unable immediately to resolve. Some degree of common sense is needed in the application of the complaints handling procedure. If a client says ‘you solicitors charge a lot for what you do’ it would not usually be sufficient to amount to a complaint. If, however, the client claims that a quote or agreed costs ceiling has been exceeded without notice to them it almost certainly will be. If, on checking the file, the fee earner is able to advise the client that a letter that the client had overlooked had been written to warn that the costs would be greater than previously discussed, the problem would probably have been dealt with and there would be no need to report the complaint as such. In all cases, however, it is necessary to take a view on how the client is reacting to the particular circumstances. The firm’s overriding objective is to address client dissatisfaction.


All firms are obliged to make a copy of their Complaints Handling Procedure available on request. The Complaints Handling Procedure can be found on the firm’s website. If appropriate, you must refer the client to the policy, or print a copy off and send it to them if they might have difficulty in acquiring it for themselves.


If it is necessary to report a complaint please email details to Stephen Compton Managing Partner. The complaint will be recorded on the firm’s Complaints Register. Client complaints will usually involve no risk of loss to the firm or the client, but if there is any chance that the complaint could amount to circumstances that should be reported to the firm’s insurers you must stay on the side of safety by reporting it as such.


As required by our complaints procedure Stephen Compton Managing Partner will consider any complaint received in as objective a manner as possible and seek to resolve the dissatisfaction. In particular they will write to the complainant suggesting appropriate redress. In so doing they will also consider if a notification need to be made to the insurers and also consider if any aspect of the quality system needs amendment.


Complaints review

Nicholas Goldreich/COLP will maintain records of all complaints received and action taken on them. Nicholas Goldreich/COLP is also responsible for conducting a monthly review of all complaints records to enable him to report to the firm on any trends. This will form part of an annual management review which is considered by the partners and reported to all staff. It is essential that all personnel learn from their experience and address any underlying problems. In this way the firm can use its complaints data to help to prevent future difficulties.


Making complaints

There may be occasions when a complaint may be made by the firm, either against another solicitor through the LCS or through other procedures. The agreement of Stephen Compton Managing Partner is needed before doing so in order that the professional and commercial standing of the firm can first receive proper consideration.

Complaints Handling Procedure

Complaints Handling Procedure 6.6 2024

Our complaints procedure

If you have a complaint, please contact Stephen Compton, Managing Partner.  If we have to change any of the responsibilities or the timescales set out below we will let you know and explain why.

What will happen next?

  1. Within seven days we will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and asking you to confirm or explain any details. We will let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint.
  2. We will then record your complaint in our central register and open a file for your complaint. We will also investigate your complaint by examining the relevant file.
  3. We would hope to be in a position to write to you within 21 days after first receiving your complaint dealing with the issues raised and setting out Stephen Compton’s views on the situation and any redress that we would feel to be appropriate.
  4. At this stage, if you are still not satisfied, please let us know. We will then arrange to review our decision. We would generally aim to do this within 14 days. This will happen in one of the following ways:
  • Stephen Compton will review his own decision;
  • We will arrange for someone in the firm who has not been involved in your complaint to review it;
  • Nicholas Goldreich Partner will review your complaint within 14 days;
  1. We will let you know the result of the review within ten days of the end of the review. At this time we will write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons.
  2. If we have been unable to settle your complaint using our internal complaints process you have a right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman, an independent complaints body, established under the Legal Services Act 2007, that deals with legal services complaints.
  3. You have one year from the date of the act, or from when you should have realised there was an issue and six months from the date of our final letter in which to complain to the Legal Ombudsman.

            Legal Ombudsman
            PO Box 6167
            Slough
            SL1 OEH

            Telephone: 0300 555 0333
            Email address: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk
            Website: www.legalombudsman.org.uk

  1. Where appropriate complaints (including professional misconduct) can also be referred to the Solicitors Regulation Authority details below:

            Solicitors Regulation Authority
            The Cube
            199 Wharf Side Street
            Birmingham
            B1 1RW

            Telephone: 0370 6062555

            DX 720293 Birmingham 47

Guidance to the Legal Ombudsman’s Complaints Procedures

  • The Legal Ombudsman will use his discretion to accept complaints in circumstances where he determines it to be fair and reasonable to do so;
  • The Legal Ombudsman will use his discretion to consider a complaint to have been resolved through a Case Investigator’s Decision if neither party objects. It is only when at least one party disagrees will the matter be referred to an Ombudsman, who can enforce a decision through the Courts if necessary;
  • The Legal Ombudsman has made it easier to dismiss complaints where there are “compelling reasons”. This can include where the client is deemed not to have suffered “significant” loss, distress, inconvenience, or detriment;
  • If there is an undue delay in bringing a complaint, or an Ombudsman feels that a complaint is too complex to investigate proportionately, complaints can also be dismissed without further enquiry.

This Procedure is reviewed annually by Stephen Compton/Partner.

Equality and Diversity Policy

Avoiding discrimination and achieving diversity

All personnel must be aware of the firm’s policy in relation to discrimination, equality and diversity. The policy deals with all professional dealings by personnel with clients, other solicitors, barristers and third parties, and so covers:

  • accepting instructions from clients;
  • using experts and counsel;
  • the provision of services to clients;
  • dealings with those representing others;
  • interaction with everyone involved in or incidental to the provision of services by the firm.


The policy also extends to the recruitment, training and promotion of people within the practice. In connection with both aspects, it is the case that all personnel must comply not only with the professional requirements of the Solicitors Regulation Authority, but also with the law of the land.

Forms of discrimination

The firm’s policy covers discrimination on the grounds of:

  • race or racial group (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins);
  • sex (including marital status, gender reassignment, pregnancy, maternity and paternity);
  • sexual orientation (including civil partnership status);
  • religion or belief;
  • age;
  • disability.


The types of action that are against the firm’s policy are:

  • Direct discrimination, where a person is, without lawful cause, less favourably treated on any of the above grounds.
  • Indirect discrimination, where a requirement or condition that cannot be justified is applied equally to all groups but has a disproportionately adverse effect on members of one particular group by reason of any of the above grounds.
  • Victimisation, where someone is treated less favourably than others because he or she has taken action against the firm for unlawful discrimination on one or more of the above.
  • Harassment, which occurs when unwanted conduct on one of the above grounds has the effect of violating another person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that person.


Disability provisions

In addition to the firm’s obligations not to discriminate against, harass or victimise those with a disability the firm is also subject to a duty to make reasonable adjustments to prevent those employees partners and clients who are disabled from being at a disadvantage in comparison with those who are not disabled.

 

Policy statement

 

Comptons Solicitors LLP is therefore committed to avoiding discrimination in its dealings with clients partners, employees and all other third parties that have dealings with the firm. It is committed to promoting diversity in its professional activities.

 

Everyone at the firm is expected and required to treat all others equally and with the same attention, courtesy and respect regardless of their:

  • race or racial group (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins);
  • sex (including marital status, gender reassignment, pregnancy, maternity and paternity);
  • sexual orientation (including civil partnership status);
  • religion or belief;
  • age;
  • disability

 

In addition, the firm will ensure that nobody with whom it has dealings will suffer any substantial disadvantage through any disability that they might have. The firm is committed to making reasonable adjustments for those with a disability in relation to job opportunities, promotion and training within the firm and the provision of services to clients.

 

Preventing discrimination as set out above is collectively referred to as “the policy” in the rest of this section and discriminatory acts are referred to as “breaches” of the policy.

 

Enforcement

 

Everyone should be aware that any breach of the policy is a potential major risk to the practice. The firm does not carry insurance against the consequences of any illegal breach, and any claims in this regard are also likely to involve the firm in significant commitments of managerial time. Further, a breach may be a serious professional offence, and liability may attach not only to the individual(s) concerned, but to also the owners of the firm. For that reason any breach is likely to be regarded as a serious disciplinary offence. If anyone is concerned that a breach of this policy may be occurring, or has a complaint that they have been the victim of a breach, they should immediately report this to any partner.

 

Training

 

As from the beginning of 2014 it was introduced that as part of their induction all new members of staff are required to watch an Equality and Diversity Webinar. This policy forms part of the firm’s induction training programme.

 

Further when required to do so by the SRA (on average every two years) an all staff survey will be conducted.  Members of Staff are assured that all information provided will be treated as confidential.  The reason why we carry out the monitoring process is to make the equality policy a reality. As well as monitoring through the SRA questionnaire the practice will look at actions it needs to take as a result of feedback.

 

An annual review of the policy is undertaken by Nicholas Goldreich Partner COLP/DPO